raybear: (Default)
Happy Twelfth Night!

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.


- Act I, Scene 1, Twelfth Night, or As You Like It

Also, I think [livejournal.com profile] sharkysmachine and I are going to have an orgy with all the people in this clip:

raybear: (sword)
Several weeks ago, when it was still summer but that first weekend when fall was starting to show and long sleeves were needed at night, I went on this date with a guy, and it was a Good Date. Even though I think we both knew it wasn't really going to go anywhere, that we were looking for different things, I appreciated that it was a still a fun Friday night of biking around and people watching and sitting on park benches and dive bars. And after the second whiskey, he recited poetry to me and then we made out over my bike before I went home. I haven't seen or talked to him since, and I'm totally ambivalent about running into him or never seeing him again, and mostly I was happy to have a Good Date and I heard this poem by Richard Siken which I've been thinking about and today finally looked up.

Scheherazade

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forgot that they are horses.
It's not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it's more like a song on a policeman's radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That meant it's noon, that means
we're inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it.
raybear: (Default)
So last week I had this line from Faulkner floating in my brain, but I've never really significantly read Faulkner, I just knew it was by him, I'd read it out of context someplace entirely different, like an ad in the backpages of Poets & Writers, but it stuck with me, and when I googled it, I came across this poem by Rupert Fike that is all about the line (and other things) and its much more pleasurable than that MC Hammer song I just posted.

The past is not dead, it’s not even past )
raybear: (red)
This poem came up at Ragdale, then [livejournal.com profile] freakysparks wrote a lovely cookie version of it in her journal, and then today I stood over the sink in the kitchen and ate delicious cold sweet plums. I am dearly in love with plums this summer, in general. So, the rule of 3 dictates I must report this trend.

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

-- William Carlos Williams
raybear: (Default)
Berryman
by W.S. Merwin

I will tell you what he told me
in the years just after the war
as we then called
the second world war

don't lose your arrogance yet he said
you can do that when you're older
lose it too soon and you may
merely replace it with vanity

just one time he suggested
changing the usual order
of the same words in a line of verse
why point out a thing twice

he suggested I pray to the Muse
get down on my knees and pray
right there in the corner and he
said he meant it literally

it was in the days before the beard
and the drink but he was deep
in tides of his own through which he sailed
chin sideways and head tilted like a tacking sloop

he was far older than the dates allowed for
much older than I was he was in his thirties
he snapped down his nose with an accent
I think he had affected in England

as for publishing he advised me
to paper my wall with rejection slips
his lips and the bones of his long fingers trembled
with the vehemence of his views about poetry

he said the great presence
that permitted everything and transmuted it
in poetry was passion
passion was genius and he praised movement and invention

I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can't

you can't you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don't write
raybear: (cranky)
I had an agitating night at work. And then minorly miserable things kept happening to me on the way home, the types of things that make you feel bad about yourself, not at other people, like I kept being tested and I kept failing as a worthy human being. And now I'm home and so cranky I don't know what to do with myself. I wish I could just go to bed angry, but its the one emotion that does not seem to induce a tendency towards wanting to sleep it away. I will probably lie in the middle room with the dog and listen to the rain for awhile. But first, I will type out a poem in honor of the occasion.

Poem

Hate is only one of many responses
true, hurt and hate go hand in hand
and why be afraid of hate, it is only there
think of filth, is it really awesome
neither is hate
don't be shy of unkindness, either
it's cleansing and allows you to be direct
like an arrow that feels something

out and out meanness, too, lets love breathe
you don't have to fight off getting in too deep
you can always get out if you're not too scared

an ounce of prevention's
enough to poison the heart
don't think of others
until you have thought of yourself, are true

all of these things, if you feel them
will be graced by a certain reluctance
and turn into gold

if felt by me, will be smilingly deflected
by your mysterious concern

- Frank O'Hara

That phrase nails the part about some emotions that frighten me -- the "getting in too deep". I can always get out. Right? Right. I have to keep telling myself that though. What is line between a small amount of slow growing poison and what is the feeling that needs to be ridden out so it will pass? Maybe I'll do what I did as a kid, and throw myself on the bed and rage into the pillow until I get weary, then pick up a book and start reading and forget why I was mad in the first place. I found Alison Bechdel's Fun House at the library the other day and I finished my other book tonight, so maybe I'll start that.
raybear: (chik-fil-a)
[livejournal.com profile] tracijean is trying to bring O! back. I said I would help. She challenged me to write a poem, using O!, about Chick-Fil-A. Coincidentally, I have been reading Shakespeare's sonnets for the past month (one a day). So, apologies to actual sonnet writers everywhere, but without further caveats, I present.....


Sonnet I
by Raybear

Let me not dwell on those poor fowls' fate,
A stumbled life 'neath conveyor belts;
Nor think of global ways to innovate
Veggie diets that prevent polar ice cap melts.
My mind rests not on Christian teens
In polo shirt and peanut oil soaked
skin, from cleaning out the fryer screens --
their farm-raised job forced by us dopes.
O! I am plagued anyway by these thoughts
My conscience instructs my stomach to behave
Until the caravan arrives in the lot
And I abandon my friends with nary a wave.
The hot crunch of the coating is tasted
And tears roll down my face, elated.

raybear: (Default)
I wrote this yesterday: "I am emerging from the hard dark place known mysteriously to the medical and psychological community as: November, December, January and February." Or you know, not so mysterious. It must be March because I'm instigating social contact with people. E-mails to writer friends I haven't talked to in months, calls to people out of town, making plans to have lunch with people, spontaneous trips to get shamrock shakes when I run into a friend on the train. Except I'm still out of the habit of interacting with people, I feel a little awkward. I'm not too concerned, I'm sure I'll pick it back up.

I saw Zodiac over the weekend. I finally put it together, oh yeah, I really like movies and books where people are obsessed with things. However, if you see it in the theater, choose one where the seats are not several years old and uncomfortable. It's a little long. I personally think it pays off perfectly for the wait, but then again, see above regarding it being my genre of things I like.

Today is supposed to be "unseasonably warm" so I think I will take my work elsewhere, namely the coffeeshop 5 blocks away with free wireless. I'm not a fan of too hot, too fast, it's super disorienting to my body. But on the other hand, sunshine and warmth after a drought -- it's a high.

There's been a lot of poetry in the household lately. I'm reading lots more of it than usual, but we've also taken to occasionally reading it aloud at bedtime before going to sleep. Here's a poem I've been thinking about today. It's dark and depressing, like poetry should be, right? I don't know, it seems reasonable to me to read this now, when I'm in a good mood. It probably wouldn't make for a good bedtime story.

Counting Small-Boned Bodies

Let's count the bodies over again.

If we could only make the bodies smaller,
The size of skulls,
We could make a whole plain white with skulls
in the moonlight!

If we could only make the bodies smaller,
Maybe we could get
A whole year's kill in front of us on a desk!

If we could only make the bodies smaller,
We could fit
A body into a finger-ring, for a keepsake forever.

- Robert Bly


Bly is one of those 60s Minnesota guys I think, into the "men's movement" in that way that involves naked sweat lodges and heterosexual bonding to feel feelings and not beat up women and go on hunts and re-enact Jungian archetypes and pretend they are shamans. I can't lie, I probably wouldn't have known better, that would have been me too. I criticize, but I can't judge.

May 2010

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